Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini worked together on the U.K.'s X Factor, the show on which Liam Payne got his start

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated April 04, 2016 08:40 AM
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Credit: Splash News

Simon Cowell is using the l-word in reference to the budding romance between Liam Payne and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

Cowell, who helped launch the One Direction member’s career on The X Factor, told U.K. newspaper The Sun that the couple are “so cute.”

“I saw them together and we had a really nice dinner. They were on good form. They’re like two little chipmunks madly in love,” Cowell said of Payne, 22, and Fernandez-Versini, 32. “But importantly they both seemed very happy over here and very relaxed. I’m happy for them.”

Fernandez-Versini was also a judge on the show in 2010 when Payne was competing, and the pair stayed in touch since then. They have reportedly been dating since late 2015, and were spotted walking hand-in-hand outside a London restaurant early last month.

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Payne hasn’t been shy about his affection for Fernandez-Versini, who is in the middle of a divorce from husband Jean-Bernard, writing on Instagram in March that the singer is his “favorite woman in the world.”